Overview of strawberries from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on August 31, 2023.
Bringing praise from California strawberry growers, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order to expedite recovery from March floods in the central coast region.
The work includes levee repairs and debris removal to help protect and prepare local communities in anticipation of another possible wet season, according to a news release.
“The much-needed repairs to the Pajaro and Salians River levees have been a long time coming, and beginning these repairs allow growers to focus on producing the high-quality, sustainably grown strawberries that drive local economies and produce 90% of the nation’s strawberries,” Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission, said in the release.
In March, the Pajaro and Salinas Rivers saw record rainfall, leading to historic flooding and levee failure in the region. The flooding affected nearly 5% of farms in the area with millions in crop, property and equipment damage, the release said.
After the flooding, California Strawberry Commission officials worked with former California Agriculture Committee chair and current state Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas to convene a special meeting of the ag committee to discuss the floods and levee breeches, the release said.
At that meeting, California strawberry grower and commission executive committee member Peter Navarro provided testimony and gave a firsthand account of the levee breech along the Pajaro River and the flooding that caused millions in damage to the strawberry industry, the release said.
“I’m thankful for the work of the California Strawberry Commission to highlight the effects of the flooding and work with lawmakers to secure much-needed relief funding, and now executive action, to make the necessary repairs and preparation for upcoming wet seasons,” Navarro said in the release. “The flooding earlier this year was devastating to many California strawberry growers as well as our local communities, which are resilient but still recovering.”
The executive order allows affected communities to accelerate work to restore levee function and river channel capacity degraded by last winter’s storms and floods. It streamlines public agencies’ emergency levee repair and debris removal work and suspends certain laws, regulations and criteria in existing orders — conditioned on agencies complying with specified environmental and resource protection requirements — for emergency levee repair and debris removal projects, the release said.
While recovery is ongoing, the California strawberry crop and supply remains strong. Harvest is ongoing around the state, providing fresh California strawberries year-round.
The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.
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